Randy Johnson got served by the A's on a windy, and ultimately wet, Friday in the Bronx. He not only got hit by the A's good hitters but by their scrubs as well. It was another frustrating outing for Johnson, whose famous temper got the better of him. Johnson sulked during the game and then again later on to reporters. According to Tyler Kepner in the New York Times:
In a crowded ballpark, long before the rain came, the ranting of one angry pitcher pierced the air. Randy Johnson's fury could be heard in the second deck of Yankee Stadium last night, and his distraction was obvious to everyone.
Johnson was trapped in an endless fourth inning, and he was screaming at the plate umpire, Chad Fairchild, after throwing a ball to Oakland's Jason Kendall. When Jorge Posada tossed it back, Johnson swatted at the ball with his glove and watched it dribble onto the grass.
Johnson had lost control of himself and the game. After the outburst, he simply turned away from Fairchild on calls he did not like.
..."I'm not going to sit out there when I think a strike's a strike," Johnson said. "A lot of times I'll ask a little more low-key, like a lot of other pitchers, but when I'm out there walking guys and I think some borderline pitches are strikes ... "
Johnson did not finish the thought, suggesting that reporters talk to Posada for his opinion. "Maybe I was wrong," Johnson said. "I don't know."
By the middle innings, hot dog wrappers and debris were swirling all around the park. Down 6-1, the Bombers climbed back in the game, on the strength of Jason Giambi's three-run home run. Giambi's dinger came against Brad Halsey after an hour-and-a-half rain delay. They closed the score to 6-5 but Oakland's pen shut the door in the eighth and ninth. The Bombers made it fun for those who stayed but they came up just short. These feel like games they are going to win even if that isn't always the case. Final score: A's 6, Yanks 5.
The two teams go right back at it this afternoon on the Fox Game of the Week. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, no soup for you. Mike Mussina is on the hill for the New Yorkers, which is very definitely a good thing. Mussina has been terrific all year and is coming off his worst game of the season. Let's hope he's sharp again today.
Later this evening I'm going to be talking about Curt Flood and my book "Stepping Up" at the Coliseum book store in midtown Manhattan (42nd street between 5th and 6th, right across the street from Bryant Park). Actually, I'm the opening act for Rob Neyer, who'll be there promoting his new book, Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders." Talk about a good dude to open for, right? I know Neyer a little bit, he helped do some research for my book, and he's always been a good guy with me. It starts at 6:00 and should be fun. If you are in and around the city and don't have anything going tonight, roll through, it'd be great to see you.